During the early 1970s, North Carolina joined the Big Tree Program. The goal of the program is to preserve and promote the iconic stature of the trees and educate people about the role they play in sustaining a healthy environment. Each individual state maintains a list of the largest trees found and names them as state champion trees. If the state champion trees are large enough, they may quality for the Register. Currently, there are 31 North Carolina National Champion trees listed on the Register.